Quentin Tarantino has given us some details about Rick Dalton's fate following the events of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Tarantino's latest proved to be one of the biggest original hits of 2019 and has been a favorite this awards season. It's contending for quite a few Oscars, including Best Picture, this weekend. Ahead of the Academy Awards, the director decided to provide some interesting insight for fans of the movie.
Leonardo DiCaprio's Rick Dalton ends the movie by killing several intruders, who were members of the Manson Family, alongside his best friend and stuntman Cliff Booth, played by Brad Pitt. Dalton does this, rather memorably, with a flamethrower that he used in one of his most famous movies, The 14 Fists of McCluskey. Ruminating on what happened after the violent incident in a recent interview, Quentin Tarantino had this to say.
"The whole incident with the flamethrower and the hippies got a lot of play. No one quite knows what a big deal that was, but it was still a big deal. And it's a big deal that he killed 'em with the flamethrower, with the prop from one of his most popular movies. So he starts becoming in demand again. I mean, not in demand like Michael Sarrazin at that time was in demand, but he's got some publicity and now all of a sudden 'The 14 Fists of McCluskey' is playing more on Channel 5 during Combat Week and stuff. And so he gets offered a couple of features, low-budget ones, but studio ones."
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is largely about Rick Dalton's journey as an actor entering the twilight of his career. His best days are behind him, or so it would seem. Yet, as Quentin Tarantino tells it here, this incident, that could have quickly turned into a tragedy, brought him good fortune. Speaking further, the director elaborated on Rick's revived career.
"But the thing is, on the episodic-TV circuit, he's a bigger name now. He's not quite Darren McGavin, all right? Darren McGavin would get paid the highest you could get paid as a guest star back in that time. But Rick's about where John Saxon was, maybe just a little bit higher. So he's getting good money and doing the best shows. And the episodes are all built around him. So as opposed to doing 'Land of the Giants' and 'Bingo Martin,' now he's the bad guy on 'Mission: Impossible,' and it's his episode...
Oh, and he does a Vince Edwards show, 'Matt Lincoln.' Or a Glenn Ford show, 'Cade's County.' And that's a big deal, 'cause he did 'Hell-Fire Texas' with Glenn Ford and they didn't really get along. But now they bury the hatchet and they make a big deal about the two guys doing it together. And then he does a couple of Paul Wendkos' TV movies. And you know, he's doing OK."
Another big question is, what happened to Cliff? Things turned out quite nice for Rick, but Cliff ended the movie seriously injured and facing an uncertain future. The two had parted ways professionally and Cliff didn't have too many job prospects. Did the two reunite for more work, given Rick's newfound good fortune?
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was heralded by critics and audiences alike, grossing $389 million at the global box office. This serves as Quentin Tarantino's ninth movie and, assuming he stays good to his word, he's got just one more in him before he hangs it up for good. But he's also discussed plans for a Bounty Law TV show, so we've got that to look forward to. This news comes to us via The Wrap.